Tag Archive | open doors

Jesus Started With Twelve


Last night I had my second speaking engagement and it went so well!  The whole process of me receiving this opportunity was so unexpected that I can’t help but see God’s hand in it.  While I was unemployed last year I worked filing individual tax returns during the tax season.  One day a client came in to sign off on his paperwork.  He was not my client but my coworker’s client, however because my coworker was unavailable I handled the sign off.  Although this should have been a simple task, things did not run so smoothly.  There were a few errors that needed fixing and I had to speak with management to correct them.  This caused a few trips to the back room, getting on the phone with management and working feverishly to fix the issue.  I was so worried the client would think I was the cause of the error and that I was unprofessional.  Instead he was laid back and very pleasant.  He made small talk and asked me what I did professionally in the off season.  Well, since I was unemployed I didn’t want to mention that aspect of my life so instead I said off handedly, “Oh, I’m a local author”, to which his eyes lit up!  Turns out he was a higher up at a local library and they featured local authors in the library!  He asked for my book but I had just sold out at my first speaking engagement (thank You Lord).  Instead I took his card and agreed to contact his assistant.  Fast forward one year later and I found myself walking into a library that has my picture in the lobby on an easel along with 3 other stellar individuals, a shelf with a row of my book so that readers could “check it out” and a podium and mic set up on stage.  Oh yea and a parking spot that said “Reserved for speaker”.  “Wow!” I thought.  “Where is God taking us?!”  (I was referring to both myself and my mom who was faithfully by my side.)  Mom had mentioned she was praying for the event and hoped for a large crowd.  While we definitely had a good group, it was not the large crowd she desired.  I know to her and others there were just a few individuals present but to my eyes the room was full.  It was full of His glory, His purpose and maybe even a few angels.


Last night I met a guest who shared some personal challenges he was having in this season.  I knew that even if no one else showed up, I was there for him.  The evening was such a blessing as I got to share my testimony of the pain I faced and how God met me in that pain.  I then shared on what I’ve been learning in becoming a healthy single and looking for a healthy dating relationship.  I was so encouraged and inspired by this open door that I sailed home that night on a cloud and woke up this morning with a smile😊.


4 years ago I started this little blog not knowing it would eventually lead to me becoming a published author.  Now a business is developing and income is being received.  Speaking engagements are being booked and skype calls are being made and I am just trying to keep up.  It truly is exceedingly abundantly more than I could have thought of.  So even if there are just a few present, those few matter to God.  I firmly believe that if we are faithful over a few He will make us rulers over much.  He will give the increase.  All we have to do is be faithful and keep moving forward.  Even Christ Himself practiced this protocol.  Because He was faithful with just 12 the gospel has now spread to most of the world over thousands of years.

And He only lived until the age of 33.

Imagine what He could do through you in your lifetime!

SHALOM

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My New Name is Yes

It became very apparent to me at the start of this journey that God had a will, a desire and a plan for my life and that He wanted me to choose that plan. The very first indication of this was when He asked me to walk away from the love of my life at 22. It was such a difficult decision for me to make that it took a year to make it. I held on as tightly as I could until the Spirit inside me won over and I could no longer deny His bidding. God was saying “No”. 

It would not be the first time.  

It seemed to me that over and over again when proceeding with plans that seemed good to me and the fulfillment of my desires that seemed equally as good, His response was, “No”. And sometimes “Wait”, which after so many years can feel just like a “No”.

In hindsight I can see the work He was doing in me. Many of my desires were rooted in selfish gain and immaturity while  others were not bad in and of themselves they just did not advance the kingdom. 

I was called to advance.

This time last year I heard a sermon that  spoke directly to my situation. The minister said that God had said “No” so many times that I thought my name was “No”. He said that that was now changing and the doors would now open. 

God was changing my name to Yes.

That Word is manifesting in my life. This year I have been flooded with open doors and the desires of my heart being met, even in the midst of the fight of my life.  As a result I have needed to change my mindset. I was so used to expecting “no” that I prepared for it. I still do this. But the evidence is there that the season has changed. I must change with it. I must grow into my new name.

Celebrating the holiday with my friend…

SHALOM

I Choose “YES” 


I stood in the conference room with the phone pressed against my ear, almost breathless at the words that were being shared by the person on its other end. She was asking if I would accept their offer. I was in disbelief. After 4+ years, numerous  job applications submitted and several interviews, was the door finally opening? And more importantly was I “allowed” to walk through it? In a split second I thought about God’s word to me in this season, how people keep telling me He will be like a parent. When a parent has a child they will make decisions for them that they know the child is too immature to make. It is the parent’s job to nurture and protect and give the child the best outcome. That is how so much of my journey has been. When it came to big decisions such as jobs, living arrangements and relationships God made it very clear what choice He had in mind, and it was my job to submit to that choice. I had gotten in such a rhythm of submitting that I created false instances for me to practice this art. I made up scenarious thinking God was saying “no” when in fact He was saying, “It’s your choice”.

That was what my sisters told me a month ago when I shared my concerns about my current position. I assumed I had to ride it out til the end like so many times before. On 2 separate occassions without either of them knowing it their response was the same: “Nicole, what if its your choice?” I thought about that for a while. From my perspective it had never been my choice. If it was now than my response to God was, “Then prove it”.

And He did.

I heard myself respond to the HR lady on the phone. I heard myself say 3 letters which sounded so foreign to my own ears because I was so used to saying “No”.

“Yes. Yes, I accept your offer!” We both rejoiced at this new opportunity for me to be further groomed in my career and for me to add value to their company. It was a win win.

After that the week flew by. My boss took me out to lunch as a farewell treat, I tidied up the loose ends I was working on and packed up my remains. We have an agreement and I will still work for him part time. Business is slow so he simply does not need me more than that.

Looking back on this last year I can see God’s hand on my life very clearly. It has been exactly 12 months since my layoff and now I will have a more stable job situation. Even though the path was so unorthodox, it was Him. I never went without. My bills were always paid. I always had food. And I even had extra for social engagements. He gets all the glory.

I believe He used this time to heal some of my thought patterns and wean me from codependency with Him. It still feels very uncomfortable to say “yes” after 14 years of saying “no” but I am learning how to overcome fear in this season.

I’ve heard it said being courageous is not the absence of fear but choosing to move forward in spite of it. Well if it’s my choice than I choose to be brave.

I choose “yes”.

Busy Yet Waiting

It’s funny how you walk with God long enough and you start to notice patterns in your life.  Lots of my patterns have to do with waiting.  Often there will be a period of stretching, pressing, waiting and then a release.  In this season there are some new things happening.  The roommate is fully moved in and I have to marvel at how seamless that transition was.  One day she wasn’t there and then all of a sudden she was.  After 3 years.  That situation shows me how much He cares for us.  He knew I needed a period of recovery and He knew just how long that recovery period should be.

Other new stuff…open door after open door continue to lead the path before me with my book.  I’m excited to be a vendor this week at a popular poetry event happening.  God has given me so much favor, I simply don’t deserve it.  He’s been stirring up a desire in me to build my business.  I’ve been working, working, working, and I’m intrigued by what the final outcome will be.  There are so many resources coming to me.  I am surrounded by go getters and make-it-happeners.  No one in my inner circle is standing still.  I like those seasons.

But even in the busyness there is still down time.  There is still quiet.  I still feel stretched in some ways.  I’m still waiting in some ways.

I’m waiting to hear His voice again.  The way I used to.  I’m waiting to start a family, though I told my mom this weekend there won’t be any grandkids if I’m waiting in a few more years.  She and I have a differing of opinion on when it is too late to have children…

For now, my books are my babies.  I am pregnant with purpose and I don’t say that to be super spiritual.  It is simply a fact.  I feel much like Paul, poured out like a drink offering.  I know the sacrifices made were for the written word.  The projects I’m working on.  The people my story will help.

The roomie and I will have our first roommate outing tonight.  I look forward to it.

I look forward to each day these days.  To be home with a cup of tea and my laptop at my finger tips.  Everything is cozy and comforting and that helps the hurt I am still in recovery from.

Fun photo shoot 😉


SHALOM

 

The Light & Darkness

This season has been full of high highs and low lows.  Similar to Dicken’s “A Tale of Two Cities” I can see the best and worst. I can see both the light and the dark.  They somehow coexist.  The beauty is that Christ is the same, no matter how tumultuous life gets.  He peaks at me through the people who love me, through their desire to connect with me.  He hides behind the open doors I know only He has the power to unlock.  I glimpse Him but He does not bombard me with His heart and presence and power the way He has in the past.  The way I was so used to.  No, He is maturing me.  Have you ever had a season like that?  Where you are being matured but you don’t really want to be?  He is developing the weak things in me…

Hebrews 12:12

Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees…

My roommate moved in last week!  She is such a blessing.  I know she is one of the many gifts the Father has given me in this season.  Her smile, her laugh, they are life.  It’s amazing how similar we are in temperament.  It’s amazing we met through this little blog.  God is an amazing connector!

I got to have dinner with an old friend.  She wanted to buy my book and actually bought 2.  She said she could have bought it a year ago but she needed it now.  God is using it in her healing.  I am blessed.  The next day I met a woman at a friend’s party.  She bought my book too.  God keeps selling them…

He is near, even when I can’t feel Him.  He protects me when my heart is in anguish.  When I’m sitting next to someone who was at one time the fabric of my life, my being, and yet we do not utter a word.  We are like two passersby, when once we were like Siamese twins.  I know the separation had to happen and I’m glad it did.  Still, some things in life are not easy to recover from.

I just received my manuscript back from my editor!  I began reviewing the changes last night, sitting on the couch with a cup of tea in my hand and my roomie not too far away.  I love this season.  I love Fall.  I look forward to seeing how the Father will manifest His will in this new year of Rosh Shoshanna…

 

I really like this song right now..

SHALOM

 

Practicing Say “Yes”

I’ve learned in this season I have a natural propensity to say “no”.  And not even through any fault of my own.  Simply genetics and the fall of mankind have influenced me in that way.  Without me realizing it if someone asks me a “yes or no” question I will automatically want to lean towards the “no”.  Add to that the many times I have desired harmful things and God has said “no” or “wait” or “not now”.  Can you imagine how that mental wiring has shaped my view of the Father? Not in a good way I will tell you.  Though I have known His love, fellowship and intimacy, I subconciously felt it was conditional. “Nicole, if you do this than I will do this”, is how I interpreted His “no”.  And then of course there are certain scriptures that can be interpreted the same; that somehow we will lose His love if we do not obey.  It is only in this season that that way of functioning finally took its toll on me.  I realized something is wrong here.  The way I am functioning does not line up with scripture.  The Word says we now have PEACE with God.  Why do I not have peace???

So I challenged my own view and went into a period of battle within myself.  Turns out that view rooted in fear was not just a generational stronghold but one that webbed its way all the way to my African ancestors.  And also of course all the way to the fall of mankind.

But in the midst of that battle and my own revelation of false ways of functioning, doors started opening.  They started opening in my career and even in my dating life.  Things were happening that I had desired for a long time.

God was saying “yes”.

Last night I met with a couple who hired me on the spot.  I am officially now a consultant.  I once again have multiple streams of income.  God is grooming me for entrepreneurship and as uncomfortable as it is, it is clear this is the only way for me.  I tried and tried to take the “normal” path.  I looked at my peers and did not understand why I was not receiving the benefits of these degrees.  Why was I consistently being humbled and feeling stuck?  Finally there is movement and I can start to see the shape of what He has been forming.

Who He has been forming.

So even though it makes me nervous and I have to make an extra effort to do so, when asked the question, I answer “yes”.

“Yes” I will write the book.  “Yes” I will be the consultant.  “Yes” I will go.

One of my besties visiting me…


SHALOM

These Things Take Time

As many of you know I finally have an open door in my career (hallelujiah). That open door did not look at ALL the way I expected it to and yet it still met so many desires of my heart! For years I wondered about my calling in business, particularly Accounting. My past is laced with insecurity, doubt and even trauma when it comes to crunching numbers 😫. It took a huge leap of faith for me to get an advanced degree in this field but leap I did! As a result I fully expected the outcome to be an overflow! I fully expected the doors to FLY open with promotions and financial reward! Instead they were firmly shut (womp womp).

For 3 years. 

3 long years. And in their place was humility, and waiting, and grace. A lot of grace. But also in their place was a blog—this blog to be exact! And, oh yeah, a book. 

This book to be exact!😉 So looking back I can see the intent and why God (once again) wanted me to wait. I can see His hand weaving and working and creating a story where the protagonist doesn’t soar her way to the top. Instead she slowly, painfully, relies on Him to get her there.

These last 3 months I have worked long and hard to get my boss’ books together. It has been a tedious task and yet I have loved every minute of it because I was FINALLY getting the experience I craved. But that goal of reconciling the numbers was ever before me and even seemed distant at times. Then all of a sudden yesterday, I reached it. It happened so quietly that I almost missed it! I had to say, “Nicole, you’re there. This is it!” 

My boss shared this week he was hoping to have this done sooner and I too agreed. But in our discussion I realized that some things take time. They take time because of the work involved. When things are underdeveloped or overlooked the one in charge has to work hard to get them together.

God is working hard on me. On us. There are areas of our lives we have been ignorant of but He has seen it all, and He has set out to complete that work, no matter how long it takes!

And when He does there will be a sweet satisfaction in knowing you endured the process and that you made it through exactly the way He wanted you to!  Not necessarily the way you envisioned–but the way He did.

This is me working on my new book project!  
SHALOM